Curtin Sarawak Open Day draws thousands of visitors

Visitors learning more about minerals

Visitors learning more about minerals

MIRI: The recent tenth Open Day of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) on October 8 drew over 9,000 visitors eager to catch exciting new faculty showcases and competitions, as well as perennial features like day-long live entertainment and food stalls.

The Open Day is the biggest and most anticipated event on Curtin Sarawak’s yearly calendar of events after its graduation ceremonies. It is geared to give potential students a taste of life at Curtin University’s largest international campus and a chance to learn more about its courses and facilities.

Curtin Sarawak Management Board chair Datuk Lee Kim Shin at mock TV studio

Curtin Sarawak Management Board chair Datuk Lee Kim Shin at mock TV studio

A slight drizzle at the start of the event did not dampen the spirit of participants and visitors alike, and as clear skies set in by mid-morning, the event kicked off amidst much fanfare and the festival-like atmosphere prevailed throughout the day.

Hundreds of visitors to the ‘Future Students Hub’, including over 500 students of local schools, got to engage in interactive and role-play activities designed to provide a unique, realistic and fun educational experience at the Faculty of Engineering and Science’s ‘Engineer’s Land’ showcase.

Department of Applied Geology staff and students with visitors

Department of Applied Geology staff and students with visitors

They also learned about indigenous, green and social entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Business’ ‘Entrepreneur Hub’ and played the role of newscasters at a mock television studio at ‘The Humanist’, the Faculty of Humanities’ showcase. Meanwhile, graduate students of the Curtin Sarawak Graduate School showed how their research projects are helping solve societal challenges at the ‘Scholars’ Quarter’.

In addition to the faculty showcases, there were competitions run by the Faculties for teams from secondary schools. They were the signature ‘Curtin Ultimate Croc Challenge’, a crocodile detector design competition; ‘Business Genius Challenge’, a business knowledge quiz; and the ‘So You Think You Can Spell?’ spelling challenge.

Another interesting highlight was the Curtin Gaming Championship organised by the Curtin Sarawak Student Council and International Student Association in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and Science. 11 teams battled it out in two of the most popular eSports games – DOTA 2 and FIFA – witnessed by hundreds of game enthusiasts who packed the venue throughout the day.

The colourful launch of the event

The colourful launch of the event

Yet another highlight was ‘Young Innovate Miri’, a showcase of electronics design projects by students of 12 local secondary schools and Curtin Sarawak. ‘Young Innovate Miri’ is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-based community service programme run by Curtin Sarawak in partnership with partners Dreamcatcher, Chumbaka, Sarawak Energy, TEGAS and iM4U.

The programme is part of the nationwide ‘Young Innovate’ programme and national competition, which are aimed at inspiring students’ passion in STEM, developing their living skills and exposing them to open-source hardware and software. The top three teams are representing Sarawak at the national finals next month.

Other attractions on the day were stage performances, a ‘Mr & Ms Curtin Contest’, guided tours of the campus and lucky draws. There were also over 40 food and beverage, retail and activity stalls operated by Curtin Sarawak’s student clubs, local businesses and about 20 non-governmental organisations.

Curtin Ultimate Croc Challenge participants from 14 schools

Curtin Ultimate Croc Challenge participants from 14 schools

In his speech during the event opening, Curtin Sarawak Pro-Chancellor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan remarked that Curtin Sarawak needs to enhance its reputation and expand its capabilities although it has built a strong presence regionally in the last 17 years of its existence. He said this would be in line with the development of Malaysia as a high quality regional education hub.

Chan added that he was happy the campus provides the perfect combination of location, quality education and affordability to over 4,000 students from over 45 countries. He also commented that its wide range of degree and postgraduate courses and strong research culture are key attractions for potential students.

Over 9000 visitors attended throughout the day

Over 9000 visitors attended throughout the day

Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski, meanwhile, said Curtin Sarawak was adopting a fresh concept for its Open Day to attract more potential students and give visitors a truly unique, interactive and fun educational experience.

He commented that the event’s growing attendance and the participation of over 50 local companies, NGOs and government agencies, as well as the support of over 20 corporate sponsors, was testimony of the strong support Curtin Sarawak has within the community.

Students at one of the booths

Students at one of the booths

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.

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